Mangroves are marshy forests typical of protected coasts, and constitute a barrier against erosion caused by wind, waves and currents. In addition, Mangrove serves, Playa del Carmen’s Ecosystem as a refuge from extreme weather conditions and home to numerous species (crustaceans, mammals and birds).
Among their many benefits, mangroves regulate the quality of water on the coasts, maintain fishing areas and, thanks to their natural atmospheric carbon storage mechanisms known as “blue carbon sinks”, help mitigate the effects of climate change in those regions.
Besides everything, they serve as defense for the coasts of tropical and subtropical zones, against the onslaught of hurricanes, tsunamis and rising sea levels.
Mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds in danger of extinction find refuge in the mangroves that offer nutrients to marine food webs and are true cradles of life because they are spawning sites for a wide variety of fish and shellfish, including several commercial species that contribute to improve the food security of numerous coastal human communities.
In Mexico, the mangrove ecosystem represents 5 percent of the world total and places the country in 4th place among the 125 countries and territories that have this type of wetland, which covers just 0.4% of the country’s surface.
Playa del Carmen’s ecosystem is home to four different types of mangrove;among them, the red manglar.
The red mangrove is vital to Playa del Carmen’s ecosystem, it is the only species that lives in salt water and serves as a natural filter for the water, it is a provider of oxygen and nutrients for the reef coral. It is a natural barrier against hurricanes and controls sea erosion on the coast.
Mangroves are such an important part of the local ecosystem that they are a part of the attraction of the xel-ha park, one of the best parks in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.